“Vorsprung durch Technik” or “Progress through Technology” is at the Heart of Audi’s Motorsports Focus
With over 100 years of automotive success, Audi is a global automotive leader that has leveraged technological developments to advance both on the track and in the marketplace. A visit to Audi’s website unearths the following quote: “When they said it can’t be any lighter, we defied them. When they said it can’t go faster, we proved them wrong. Whenever they said it couldn’t be done, we simply did it. This is the undying spirit at our core.” “Vorsprung durch Technik” or “Progress through Technology” is at the heart of what propels everything forward for Audi on the world stage in motorsports.
Audi has placed a considerable amount of effort and focus around its customer racing program and specifically its GT3 program and the Audi R8 LMS. The program provides support to Audi customer teams racing around the world campaigning the Audi R8 LMS including teams running in Europe, Asia, Australia and North America. Since 2009, Audi has 28 championship victories. An impressive list of class and overall victories at the 24h Nürburgring, 24h SPA, 24h Dubai, 12h Sepang and 24 Hours At Daytona underlines the reliability and the performance of the Audi R8 LMS. Numerous customer teams from all over the world have chosen to run the Audi R8 LMS. In 2015, the Audi R8 LMS was the winner of the Blancpain GT Series as well as the 25h Thunderhill winner.
In preparation for the 2016 motorsports calendar, Audi unveiled the new R8 LMS GT3 at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2015. The second generation of the platform set new benchmarks for aerodynamics, lightweight design and safety areas.
In North America and the Pirelli World Challenge, three teams campaign the Audi R8 LMS: CRP Racing with emerging sportscar star Kyle Marcelli in GT, the M1 Racing team that runs in both GTA and SprintX with driver Walt Bowlin behind the wheel and co-drivers Dion von Moltke and David Ostella partnering in SprintX, and GTA pilot Drew Regitz in the Stephen Cameron Racing Audi R8 LMS ultra. CRP and team owner Nicholas Short have been running the Audi R8 LMS ultra in the series since 2014 and came close to securing a championship that season with Mike Skeen behind the wheel. Ultimately Skeen finished second in a hard fought battle with winner Johnny O’Connell, still CRP and Skeen put the Audi R8 LMS ultra in victory circle three times. For the 2016 season, Marcelli came over to pilot the team’s car and has been in the championship mix all season long currently sitting 7th in the GT Championship scoring five top 5 finishes including a second and a third place in Rounds 11 and 12 at Lime Rock Park and Road America respectively. M1 and Bowlin have one of the more than 60 of the latest generation Audi R8 LMS race cars that have been delivered to customer teams and have consistently run in the top 5 in SprintX scoring a second place finish in Round 4 in the latest round of the championship at Utah Motorsports Campus. Regitz has 44 career starts in PWC and earlier this season posted his best career finish in the series behind the wheel of his Audi R8 LMS with a second place finish in Round 7 at Barber Motorsports Park.
True to the ‘Progress through Technology’ ethos, the Audi R8 LMS GT3 sports car is a technological marvel and features the Audi Space Frame (ASF) in aluminium-CFRP hybrid construction with stressed steel roll-cage, bodywork parts from CFRP and aluminium. The car is powered by an Audi 5.2L V10 paired with a 6-speed sequential gearbox that produces over 550 hp.
“Audi has found much success in both sprint and endurance racing in the US and globally,” says Tristan Herbert, Manager, Motorsport and Customer Racing. “This is a testament to the reliability of the Audi R8 LMS race car and the teams who race them. Our on-sight support includes both the new Audi R8 LMS and the previous generation Audi R8 LMS ultra. We are dedicated to ensuring our teams make the grid and compete for the win. We are a proud sponsor of Pirelli World Challenge and we look forward to growing with them in the future.”
“We are very happy to be part of the Pirelli World Challenge SprintX program as well as have an association with Audi and their Audi Sport customer racing program,” says Remi Lanteigne, M1’s GT Racing Technical and Business Development Director. “Audi has been instrumental in working with us to ensure that we have the necessary needs to run at the front of the field and showcase their Audi R8 LMS. I think we have some of the most talented drivers in the field and after having the car for less than six months, we have performed very well. We have been in constant communication with Audi overseas as they are committed to winning just as much as we are. Audi’s staff in North America has been great to work with and we have developed a very strong bond within the organization. With a couple podiums and runs at the front of the field, it is only a matter of time before you see the M1 GT Racing Audi R8 LMS in victory circle.”
“Being in Pirelli World Challenge has be an interesting experience for CRP Racing,” says CRP Team Owner Nicholas Short. “In our time racing the Audi R8 LMS ultra, Audi has provided technical support from Audi customer racing division here in the USA. Brad Kettler, Cody Ragone and Andy Sattler from Audi have all been instrumental in our growth and our success. CRP Racing, along with the great sponsors that have supported us with Carlisle Companies DeVilbiss Fluid Technologies and Hawk Performance brake pads both being a huge part of our success. We’ve become North America’s most successful Audi R8 LMS team over the last three years with many wins in the R8 LMS ultra culminating in a very close fight for the 2014 Championship, eventually finishing second in the Championship.”
“We chose to run the Audi R8 LMS ultra in Pirelli World Challenge for not only being a competitive race car but for their ‘Always There’ on site track support with ample spare parts and technical expertise to make sure whatever the day throws at us we can compete,” says Regitz.
“I have really enjoyed my time this year racing the Audi R8 for CRP Racing in the Pirelli World Challenge. It’s been a goal for a few seasons to transition into from Prototype into GT cars and work alongside a manufacturer in a competitive GT series. All of those boxes have been checked off this year. This marks my first year racing the Audi R8. The car is well balanced and confidence inspiring to drive. Some of its strengths include the car’s braking performance as well as the car’s high-speed aerodynamic grip. This is the fourth year that CRP Racing has been working with the Audi R8. The team knows the car very well and always do their best to put a competitive, reliable car on the race track. As our working relationship has developed throughout the year, we have found some success by making some tuning adjustments to Audi R8 that better suit my driving style. We have found ourselves between 5th and 7th in the driver’s championship for most of the year. We have won a few podium results already and will be looking to close out the year with a victory and a top-five in the ultra competitive Pirelli World Challenge championship. I expect this will be the final year for CRP Racing to campaign the now previous generation car, that said, I hear nothing but good things about the developments on the new generation Audi R8 and can’t wait for the opportunity to test the car.”
With over 100 years of automotive success, the one constant that Audi will always strive for is progressive pushes forward in technological developments to achieve wins in the motorsports arena that translate to growth in the marketplace.